Raybaby has revolutionized remote baby monitoring with a new device that has so many functions and benefits that I won’t try to summarize it in this one sentence. The Raybaby monitor comes in three colors, and also looks like an adorable little robot. (Photo via RayBaby Kickstarter)
You know, I proposed this exact idea a few years ago, 2014 if I recall correctly. I planned to do it with a Raspberry Pi though. Wish I stuck with it! Anyway…
Parents naturally worry about the wellbeing of their child even when they’re perfectly healthy, but when they are not perfectly healthy, the stress can be debilitating. According to Nicole Lee of Engadget, the inspiration for Raybaby’s new baby monitoring device came when a friend of the creators (Aardra Kannan, Ranjana Nair, and Sanchi Poovaya) had a premature birth. After seeing the amount of care those babies require, and the constant anxiety it produces even after arriving back home, they sought to put worried parents’ minds at ease.
Raybaby is supported by Johnson & Johnson, and HAX, the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator, as part of the Joint Consumer Health Device Program. Their device is marketed as the world’s first and only non-contact sleep and breathing tracker and also boasts a 98.3% accuracy rate. The technical capabilities of this device are complemented by the apparent user-friendliness and practicality of the entire system. It uses ultrawideband radar technology (frequency range: 6-8.5 GHz and 7.25-10.2 GHz) that operates like an ultrasound and enables it to detect movements as small as a millimeter from a range of five meters. This technology allows their device to use this information to monitor vitals, current breathing rate, and track sleep patterns, all of which is sent to a smartphone app. There is also a video camera that can be triggered through the smartphone app, which allows for live streaming and passive recording of pictures and moments that are saved in a collage. Of course, the app also has emergency notifications, and a larger scale tracker that can help to identify patterns in the baby’s vitals and sleep cycles, and all of this information is stored using Amazon Cloud services. This device acts as an extra set of eyes, and in addition to the real-time capabilities, it can also help parents plan and manage their newly hectic lives more effectively.
Although Raybaby is currently focused on babies, one of the creators, Ranjana Nair, believes it also has some potential applicability in monitoring elderly people and helping to identify arrhythmia or early signs of a heart attack. All in all, it is clear that this monitoring device, and the entire system, is well-designed, easy-to-use, and highly beneficial, and at the moment, only costs $99 through Kickstarter (it will be retailing for $250, according to Nicole Lee from Engadget). Ideally, this device won’t encourage parents to use its convenience to raise their kids from afar, but rather to keep a close eye when they can’t be near; only time will tell whether this convenience makes parents more or less responsible.
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